A Outra Margem (The Other Bank)

Article published on Nov. 21, 2007
community published
Article published on Nov. 21, 2007
: Luis Filipe RochaScript and Direction : Paulo Branco Production : Pedro Teixeira Music : Filipe Duarte and Tomas Almeida Performers Sometimes the distance between us and the people we love is as big as a river…that river may be the absence caused by death, that river may be the lack of communication caused by pride, that river may be the resistance to start a new life.
This is the nice metaphor Luis Filipe Rocha plays with in his last film “A outra margem”, shown during the Sevilla European Film Festival’s week and which, it must be said, has filled the cinemas with people in every screening. In the film the protagonist, Ricardo, a transvestite wonderfully played by Filipe Duarte, falls in a state of deep depression after his boyfriend’s suicide and returns to the home of his childhood for some weeks. During that time the story shows how, for our protagonist to resurrect, he will have not only to reconcile himself with his beloved’s traumatic death, but also with the death he caused to the person he had been 15 years ago, when he was heterosexual, was going to marry and had a father who accepted him. In this journey back to life he finds the help of a human being with trisomy in chromosome 21, that’s to say, with Down’s Syndrome. It’s his affectionate and pleasant nephew Vasco ( Tomas Almeida), who is 17 and whose great desire to live makes Ricardo wake up. Sometimes the “difference”, as this character demonstrates with his way of facing the world, can save us. It’s fair to emphasize that the film is tremendously humane and fresh, the Portuguese director, who is licensed in Law, was exiled in Brazil and has dozens of works as director, scriptwriter and/or actor. He makes all the characters have to solve some enslaving conflict. Thus, in the staging as in life itself, it is clearly noticed that they relate to each other through daily objects. Such is the case, for instance, of the wedding dress that Ricardo’s ex-girlfriend gives him as reproach for the wedding that didn’t take place, or the little wooden horse that the protagonist’s father repairs and prepares in an attempt to meet his son again in solitude, because in daily life he’s not able to… his “river” of prejudices about homosexuality prevents him from doing it. It is also remarkable the soundtrack, which has allowed Pedro Teixeira Silva to transmit musically the feelings in the story. Conformity, lack of communication in human relationships, differences…words that unfortunately draw our days and can pull us towards sadness and loneliness, but in the end, hope starts by throwing itself into the river to swim. There will always be someone like Vasco who, despite all expectations, helps you to reach the right “bank”.

a_otra_margem.jpgPaola García Costas

Translated by

Diana Irene Arancibia